Thursday, December 30, 2010

Adventure in Florida...

      After this blog entry I will not be disclosing my location because my evil skin head stalker has expressed his interest in stalking me once again.  I do not feel flattered to say the least.  So if you are reading this (you know who you are, you angry, sad little man) find someone else to stalk cause you are ruining my travel mojo and I am not above finding someone to put a voodoo curse on you.
      That said, this is route 206 outside of Saint, Augustine. We were dropped off by a semi truck at 6:30am.  The driver of the semi is in the National Guards where he de-activates bombs in Iraq.  He had many awful stories to fill up the two day long ride to Florida.  There will be more on him at a later date.
     Rocky and I walked a very long time on this road before we were picked up by a yacht driver named Walter in a blue, mint condition, 1966 Chevy El Camino. I did not take a picture of the car because I was too busy running to it.

      Here is one of the many many cars that passed us.  I eventually got so frustrated with the situation that it became funny.  I started  joking with Rocky to ease the tension:
  • "Whatever McDonald's worker, have fun living in fear!" 
  • " Hey Rocky, did you see that lady? She wanted to pick us up, but Jesus told her not to." 
  • "No, It's cool.  No we're fine. We don't need a ride." 
  • "I love the way my hair looks blowing in the wind as you drive by really fast without stopping!"

      Rocky has started to show his age.  He gets tired a lot faster these days.  So I ended up carrying his saddle bags shortly after this shot and I have not had the heart to make him carry them again.  He does look good in red though.

       Here is a bridge thingy in the town of Palatka which lies between Saint Augustine and  Gainesville.  There are lots of Pentecostal churches here.  I got three rides through the town of Palatka. One was from a gross old pervert who immediately asked me if I wanted to give him head for 20 dollars. Are you fucking kidding me? 20 dollars? Maybe in your day (or in Palatka) this is an acceptable offer, but I was quite offended. I declined and told the man, that was old enough to be my grandfather, he could drop me off  at the next block.  He let me out of the car without an argument and told me I was a good girl for saying no.  Ha! Thanks Gramps!

      I arrived in Gainesville sometime around 11am. I have not been to Gainesville in 6 years because I have been terrified that I would use drugs again. Now that I have been clean from narcotics for 3 years, I felt that it was time to prove to myself that I could visit without the disease of addiction taking over my mind.
     When I used to live here, I would often stop to admire this beautiful, giant oak tree.  I was glad to see it still there.  Many memories, mostly bad, began to surface as walked into town.  These memories came as no surprise to me. I was expecting them. I was more than ready (eager even) to process them.  After all, this was the place where I almost lost my soul to drugs and misery.

    Rocky and I decided to make camp underneath this oak tree for the day while we waited for our Gainesville friends to call. Rocky chewed on sticks while I read "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant. The book is about a character from the Bible named Dinah who is the sister of Joseph and the daughter of Jacob.  Call me naive, but I did not realize that "The Red Tent" refers to a period tent until I started to read it.

       While we were lounging we were visited by many interesting people, including this punk rock gentleman named A.J. He has awesome brass ear plugs and told me about a group of travelers that he had just met.


         Aside from A.J., while I was reading, I was visited by at least three drug addict homeless people with different requests. "Can you buy my man a forty ounce? They won't let him in the store," an exhausted, wide eyed woman asked me.
       "No, I am sorry," I said.

       "You straight?" another asked.

       "As an arrow," I replied.

       "You gotta cigarette?" yet another asked.

      It was at that point that I decided I was not going to get any reading done if I did not take drastic measures. So I decided to read "The Red Tent" out loud to make it clear that I was busy.  As I was rambling like a crazy person, my dear friend Lars Din arrived.  We talked about  surviving the past and how life was going presently for each of since our last encounter. It was cathartic to say the least.


       Lars and I talked until my brother came to scoop me up and bring me to Sarasota in his sweet yellow 79 Chevy Nova. My brother is so tall. 6ft 4in to be specific. It's awesome. I haven't seen him since he came to visit me in Vermont a couple years ago.  The only thing shitty about him coming to get me is that his awesome car, whose engine was just rebuilt, started making fucked up noises on the way back.  I feel like a jinx kinda, but I'm glad the engine started messing up now instead of after his warranty expired.

      Here is Rocky basking in the sunlight at my Mom's place.

       My Mother and I have been hanging out, walking dogs, talking, crying, looking at old photos, and reminiscing about the past.

       Here is Ginger, my Mom's cat, right before she turned into a Ninja on Rocky.

      It was scary.  Someone set off a fire work which made rocky panic.  He, in turn, tried to crash through Mom's screen door and this put Ginger the cat on defense.  She was a fucking ninja, seriously. She flew through the air like a tornado made of calico fur and sharp nails and teeth.


       Poor Rocky. He always gets the shit end of the stick. No pun intended.

      Here are some shots of Sarasota's Amish town.  I had originally planned to photograph the ghetto and the historic areas of Sarasota, but I decided that this might be pushing my luck as far as staying away from drugs.  So I have decided to photograph less intimidating subjects, like Amish people and birds.



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Adventure on the horizon...


       Rocky and I are getting ready for a big adventure with our friend Gillian. Destination Florida. The land of palm trees, rednecks, crack heads and rich white old people. But more importantly, my family and friends live there. So that's that.
       I want to find a different Florida than the one I've known in the past. That's why I am going to turn my trip into a photo project. Gillian said that I can use her awesome little Cannon, but if it feels right I might bring my clunker and try to make the best of it.  I am also making a necklace out of my flash drive so that I can store photos on it whenever I come across a computer.
       I've been packing my bag and prioritizing valuable commodities, carefully deciding which little things get to come with.
  • Bikini .........check!
  • Doggy saddle bags full of dog food...... check!!
  • Camera batteries.... check!!
  • Tooth brush and dental floss.......check!!
  • sanity.... check!
  • cell phone charger.... check!!
  • One good book...... undecided as of yet
      All of the commodities, separately, are light and not intimidating, but together they can either turn a pack into a pain in the ass or a bearable burden of all usefulness, depending on how much I convince myself I need to bring. 
      I have a whole plan for my boot situation.  Let me explain:  I will travel south with two pairs of boots: normal leather boots, and giant thermal snow-boots. The snow-boots will stay on my feet until I reach a snow-less environment, at which time I will throw away my snow-boots and switch to my all-terrain-except-snow boots. I'm ok with throwing these boots away because I've had them for years and they've started to leak. Out with the old. 
     On the topic of adventure, here is my first and last attempt at sequential  art.  I had a hard time figuring out the  words that belong in the thought bubbles, so I left them blank. Please feel free to add your own words.

The shell cracks while it is still night...

 A fully clothed, grown and newly hatched  man climbs down from his nest...

        Here is were u come in.... What does he say? Please note color creeping  into the composition. As the story progresses, more and more color will take over the scene.

 So then  he's like "Fuck this, I'm out..."

      Our hero is left to wander the Earth in search of an answer that has no question and a question that has no answer. Lame, right? Welcome to life : )

Here is an image Ive been meaning to scan for awhile of a winged female.

I need to get re-obsessed with pointillism.

Here is a sketch of a child from a National Geographic magazine.....


And Another strange image that I dug up...

Friday, December 10, 2010

IIIIIIIIIIIIII -Yi -Yimmmmmm livin' in the Ice age!! OH- -oooo

     I watched some you tube videos to figure out how to design an image from a blank photshop document. Before doing this I only knew how  to manipulate photographs to look closer to life, now I'm a logo making machine.
     Here is my second or third attempt, after figuring out the general workings. Not bad. I think that I've found something to let my OCD tendencies loose on.  Just in time too, geesh. Been going a little loopy. It's so dark here in Vermont. I was talking with a a friend about the possibilities of morphing into a pale and pasty cave dwelling creature as a result of having no sun.

And here is the mate to a collage made awhile ago.

Here is his partner...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In progress WWI portraits. Pencil on wood so far.


         Kathe Kollowitz was a Prussian Expressionist (Prussia was part of Germany before, and during part of, WWI and afterward  became part of Russia).

 I still need to flatten her cheek bones more and make her chin bigger and more squarish.

Here is part of Kathe's Wikipedia page:

 K├Ąthe Schmidt Kollwitz (July 8, 1867 – April 22, 1945) was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition in the first half of the 20th century. Her empathy for the less fortunate, expressed most famously through the graphic means of drawing, etching, lithography, and woodcut, embraced the victims of poverty, hunger, and war. Initially her work was grounded in Naturalism, and later took on Expressionistic qualities

         Here is a portrait of C.R.W. Nevinson.  He was a pretty wild dude. He became Britain's official war artist after gaining popularity through his art by  free-lancing . Nevinson brought his art to the battlefield and by this I mean he  sketched death and war.

I will draw his other half today.

Here is part of Nevinson's Wikipedia page:
Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson (13 August 1889 – October 1946) was an English painter. He is often referred to by his initials C. R. W. Nevinson, and was known as Richard.
At the outbreak of World War I, Nevinson joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit with his father, and was deeply disturbed by his work tending wounded French soldiers. For a brief period he served as a volunteer ambulance driver, before ill health soon forced his return to England. He used these experiences as the subject matter for a series of powerful paintings which used Futurist techniques to great effect. His fellow artist Walter Sickert wrote at the time that Nevinson's painting 'La Mitrailleuse' (now in the Tate collection) 'will probably remain the most authoritative and concentrated utterance on the war in the history of painting.
Subsequently Nevinson volunteered for home service with the Royal Army Medical Corps, before being invalided out; he was eventually appointed as an official war artist, though his later paintings, based on a short visit to the Western Front, lacked the same powerful effect as those earlier works which had helped to make him one of the most famous young artists working in England. By 1917, Nevinson was no longer finding Modernist styles adequate for describing the horrors of modern war. "Paths of Glory," depicting two fallen British soldiers in a field of mud and barbed wire, is typical of his later war paintings in its stark realism and complete lack of Futurist or Vorticist effects. A large collection of his work can be found in the Imperial War Museum in London.
Shortly after the end of the war, Nevinson travelled to New York, where he painted a number of powerful images of the city. However, his boasting, and exaggerated claims of his war experiences, together with his depressive and temperamental personality, made him many enemies, in both the USA and England. Roger Fry of the Bloomsbury Group was a particularly virulent critic. In 1920, the critic Lewis Hind observed in his catalogue introduction to an exhibition of Nevinson's recent work: ‘It is something, at the age of thirty one, to be among the most discussed, most successful, most promising, most admired and most hated British artists.’ His post-war career, however, was not so distinguished.
Nevinson was credited with holding the first cocktail party in England in 1924 by Alec Waugh.